Overall Rating
Overall Rating (11 Reviews)
4.1
(11 Ratings)(11 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
4.6
This incredibly fast and remarkably beautiful road race takes runners from the majestic mountains and pristine forests of Big Bear to the foothills of Redlands, California. Featuring a smooth downhill slope and spectacular scenery in the San Bernardino National Forest, this race will be sure to help you set your … MORE
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2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 59 51 63 69 58
L (°F) 45 39 43 44 32
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my second Revel race. I had a great experience with Revel Mt Hood, so I decided to try out Revel Big Bear half. I chose the half marathon … MORE

    This was my second Revel race. I had a great experience with Revel Mt Hood, so I decided to try out Revel Big Bear half. I chose the half marathon with it’s 3100 ft elevation drop.Revel races start very early. This one was no different with it’s 6am race start. Bus loading for the half marathon was from 4am to 4:45am. It was about a 30 minutes bus ride to the start were there were plenty of port a potties, water, and lights because it was very dark. Each participant was provided with a mylar blanket and gloves to keep warm. We were also given a drop bag to put our extra warm clothes in and those were taken to the finish line. It really wasn’t too chilly at the start. I’d say it was around 40′. I needed the gloves, but not the blanket. Pacers were available and I had decided that i was going to stick with the 2:20:00 pacer. I figured this was smart because my best previous half PR was 2:20:53 which was two years ago when I was much faster. Lately, my half times have been around 2:40:00. Well, after about two miles, I decided that the 2:20:00 pace felt too slow. I started running faster, but definitely not out of control. It was very beautiful running down the canyon road. The weather was cool in the shade and around mile eight, we finally came of of the shade of the canyon and it started to heat up. The course had a nice steady drop and around mile 11 or so, it started to flatten out. The last mile was completely flat. I looked at my watch at mile 12 and it said 1:59:00!!! I knew that even if i walked the last mile I would still have a PR. I kept the pace going and came in at 2:11:45!!!! Woo-Hoo!! I shaved over nine minutes off my PR time from two years ago and three times as much from my recent half time. The temperature had warmed up quite a bit by the finish. it was 78′ at 8:15 am. San Bernardino was having a heat wave.
    Revel puts on a great race. The busing to the start is organized. Plenty of aid stations on course. We only had to deal with cars for a few miles. They had a pilot car bringing cars up and down the canyon road. Shirts and medals are fabulous. Post race food included a sweet treat, pizza, and beer.
    Revel is awesome and I will definitely run another one of their races.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    OCSCFan FIRST-TIMER '19

    Great swag - pay the $5 upgrade to either a long sleeve or an ultra soft race shirt. You also get a pair of Goodr and recycled gloves for the … MORE

    Great swag – pay the $5 upgrade to either a long sleeve or an ultra soft race shirt. You also get a pair of Goodr and recycled gloves for the chilly start.

    The race is fast but the pounding will take its toll if you don’t properly train. Revel provides excellent tips on course management and how to train for a downhill course. We did multiple long runs on downhill routes to prepare.

    The best thing about the Big Bear course is that it’s a continual downhill past mile 9. It becomes more gradual the last 6 miles but it’s still downhill even though it might feel like it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    rundirun FIRST-TIMER '19

    This first Revel race and my first downhill marathon. Race production is top shelf. The course was well marked and well stocked. Finish line had plenty of options-food, hydration, clothing … MORE

    This first Revel race and my first downhill marathon. Race production is top shelf. The course was well marked and well stocked. Finish line had plenty of options-food, hydration, clothing for sale, photo ops, results both, etc. Expo was small but friendly and well organized. Quality swag for participants and excellent communication prior to the race. Buses to the start were organized and easy to access. Plenty of potties at the start. Views are majestic and motivating/distracting. I signed up for coaching with Revel coach Paul. This is critical if you haven’t run a downhill marathon. His training plan is specific to the stresses of downhill running and his course insights are invaluable. He helped prepare me physically and mentally so that my race day was enjoyable with no surprises. Highly recommend the course and the coaching.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    RickSawThat FIRST-TIMER '19

    Revel Races are so well organized and from the moment you get to the expo you feel part of the Revel running Community. Coach Paul's talk about the course and … MORE

    Revel Races are so well organized and from the moment you get to the expo you feel part of the Revel running Community. Coach Paul’s talk about the course and advice was so great and made me feel like I knew what was coming throughout the course when I was running the next day. I would highly recommend this race but prepare for a cold morning before the start.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is a point to point race so plan on being there early. Buses for the half and full leave from the same parking lot but different sections. Make sure … MORE

    This is a point to point race so plan on being there early. Buses for the half and full leave from the same parking lot but different sections. Make sure you get on the right bus. Revel offers the option to mail your t-shirt and bib for a fee otherwise you have to go to the expo or have someone pick your stuff up. Great race. Great production. Lots of food at the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '19

    For anyone who read my 2018 Revel Big Bear review, you already know about my misadventures with the buses to/from Big Bear High School. I was hoping the bus system … MORE

    For anyone who read my 2018 Revel Big Bear review, you already know about my misadventures with the buses to/from Big Bear High School. I was hoping the bus system would be better this year. Spoiler alert – it wasn’t. I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let’s start with the expo, shall we?

    Last year the race was on Sunday, but this year it was moved to Saturday. The expo was at National Orange Show Event Center from 10 am – 6:00 pm on Friday. Battling Friday afternoon LA traffic was a nightmare. I left work in Pasadena at 2:30 pm and didn’t get to the expo until 5:40 pm!!!! I was able to get my packet without a problem, but many of the vendors were already packing (or packed) up. If you download the Revel app, you can collect codes from various vendors for points that can be redeemed towards free races (I got Revel Big Bear for free by collecting points through the app). If you collect all the codes you are also entered into a raffle for great prizes. Despite the vendors packing up, I was able to get all of the codes but one. No one was at the Revel coaching program booth. Luckily a friend gave me the code so I was still able to get entered into the raffle. If the race continues to be on Saturday, I highly recommend having the expo run slightly later. 6 pm is just too early with Friday traffic in LA. Practically all of my friends left work early and barely made it to the expo in time.

    For an additional fee, you can pick up your packet on race morning and save the stress of Friday night LA traffic.

    Ok, time to talk about the buses. Repeat after me: I will not stay in Big Bear and pay $30 to take the bus from Big Bear High School. I will not stay in Big Bear and pay $30 to take the bus from Big Bear High School. I will not stay in Big Bear and pay $30 to take the bus from Big Bear High School.

    Get it? Got it. Good.

    If you aren’t looking for a “racecation” weekend in Big Bear, on race morning the most practical thing to do is to take the free shuttle from the base of the mountain in San Bernardino up the mountain to the race start.

    For those wishing to stay in Big Bear (don’t do it), the race offered roundtrip transportation to/from Big Bear High School for $30. Half Marathoners were told that our bus loading time was between 4:00 – 4:30 am. The Full Marathoners were told that their bus loading time was between 4:30 – 5:00 am. Our confirmation e-mail stressed not to be late. I like to arrive to races very early, therefore I was at Big Bear High School a few minutes before 4 am. The buses arrived a few minutes after 4. The handful of us who were there immediately walked over to the first bus to arrive. We were told we couldn’t board the buses yet as they needed to figure out which buses would be for the Half and which buses would be for the Full (at least at this point, all of us were there for the Half). We stood around in 22 degree weather until approximately 4:15 when we were directed to a bus that had been designated as a Half Marathon bus. The bus then sat until 4:37 when we finally left for the start. It took approximately an hour to get to the starting line. We pulled up to the starting line at 5:37 and were allowed to get off the bus at 5:40. As we got off the bus, they reminded us that gear check was scheduled to close at 5:45 am (in 5 whole minutes). I immediately got in line for a porta-potty. The line moved relatively quickly (thank goodness for small miracles). I stepped out of the porta-potty at 5:53 (8 minutes after gear check was scheduled to close and 7 minutes until the race start), then dropped off my bag at gear check (yay, they weren’t closed). I then walked up the road to the start. There was zero time for me to warm-up or stretch (as someone who has been running marathons for 14.5 years, my broken-down body is at a point where I NEED to stretch before a run) and no time to find friends.

    I was in a bad mood at this point. Again. Fool me once Revel, shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me. This was a repeat of the exact same headache from last year.

    Like last year, there was no national anthem. We simply started moving forward. I didn’t realize we were starting until I was about 15 feet from the start. On the other side of the road, people were still walking up to the start.

    The course is mostly as advertised — downhill and fast. It is the least scenic of the Revel races I have run (Canyon City, Mt. Hood, Rockies and Big Cottonwood). As I mentioned last year, the best views are all in the first half of the Full Marathon. The course is rather boring once the Half Marathon joins the party.

    The aid stations and volunteers were great. They provided runners with water and Poweraide. The website and race program said that some aid stations would offer Honeystingers, but I never saw any. Perhaps they were saving them for the Full Marathoners. I loved running by the Hawaiian dancers.

    Upon crossing the finish line, runners were provided with bottles of water, chocolate milk, bananas and towels soaked in ice water. Upon exiting the finisher’s chute, runners could use tear-off vouchers on their bib to receive a slice of pizza, an ice treat and a spiked seltzer beverage. I loved the matcha flavor of the ice treats. Usually we get a donut with melted glaze from sitting out in the sun, so I was thrilled for something new and interesting. Many people were upset that the beer garden was serving spiked seltzer instead of beer. I didn’t mind. Last year they served an IPA, so anything is an improvement!

    There were a variety of photo backdrops for runners to take finisher photos.

    The buses returning to Big Bear High School only run once an hour. Last year it took us 2 hours to get back up the mountain as the buses take the race course back. I was prepared for this. I was thrilled that it only took us an hour and 40 minutes this year!

    I told my husband I wouldn’t run this race again next year. I only ran it again this year to get the Triple Reveler medal (a medal earned when you run 3 Revel races in a year). In actuality, I probably will run it again. Legacy runners were given bibs that were a special color and said “Legacy Runner.” Darn it. Stupid Revel. I love stuff like that. I guess I’m probably going to run it again next year.

    On a positive note, the race offers free photos. I like free photos.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    dana.0212 FIRST-TIMER '19

    REVEL puts on a wonderful race! The details are well thought out. Packet pickup was a breeze. Lots of volunteers available with no lines. I was so surprised to receive … MORE

    REVEL puts on a wonderful race! The details are well thought out. Packet pickup was a breeze. Lots of volunteers available with no lines. I was so surprised to receive a free pair of Goodr sunglasses when I picked up my shirt. Shirts are great as well. I noticed some participants were confused about the buses/shuttle. If participants were staying up the mountain and needed a ride back up the mountain after the race, there was a fee for this bus/shuttle. Otherwise, there was not a fee for participants to take the bus from the designated parking in San Bernardino to the start line, then to take the bus from the finish line back to the designated parking. The course was scenic with a quick downhill pace. The last few miles that went through Mentone weren’t as nice, but the finish line area had lots of space and parking for spectators to come and support the runners. Signage at the finish line made it easy to find food, beverages, results, and bag pick up. The medals are great! I especially love that race day photos are free to download.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    mjramsey FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was a great race. I was prepared for the first 7 miles of rolling hills. Then at mile 9-20 the course becomes this amazing downhill!. So fast!..At mile 20-26 … MORE

    This was a great race. I was prepared for the first 7 miles of rolling hills. Then at mile 9-20 the course becomes this amazing downhill!. So fast!..At mile 20-26 the course is still downhill, but not as extreme so it’s not as hard on your quads and hamstrings. Everything associated with this race was well planned and well executed. I will probably do another Revel race after this experience!..

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    jake7189 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This run was just ok for me. First it shouldn’t be named Big Bear Revel, but rather Redlands Revel. The scenery was just ok. I have run Rockies Revel and … MORE

    This run was just ok for me. First it shouldn’t be named Big Bear Revel, but rather Redlands Revel. The scenery was just ok. I have run Rockies Revel and that is some beautiful scenery! This was meh compared to that. The run was good, the bus ride to the start was good, plenty of bathrooms, swag was alright. Just rename it or actually move it to Big Bear.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    dana.0212 FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was a beautiful route (while in the mountains). The race started right on time (thank you!). Runners were advised to line up based on anticipated finish times. The first … MORE

    This was a beautiful route (while in the mountains). The race started right on time (thank you!). Runners were advised to line up based on anticipated finish times. The first nine miles had a few uphills, but nothing too difficult. During this time we were in the shadows of the mountains. Around mile 11 we could see the clouds in the valleys of the mountains, eventually we were running in the clouds, and then running under the clouds. I know this couldn’t be planned, but it was an amazing experience. Miles 14-20 were fast downhill as promised. The end of the race went through the City of Mentone which isn’t very scenic. The last mile was mostly flat, which was difficult for me after all the downhill momentum. I finished the race with a 21 minute PR!
    I appreciate aid stations every two miles starting at mile 3. Water, powerade, and bathrooms at ideal locations along the route are always appreciated. Volunteers at the aid stations were fantastic! All were so encouraging & supportive.
    The finish line included water, cold towels, bananas, donuts, pizza & beer. I appreciate a local brewery having the opportunity to participate. Family and friends were able to easily find us after the race and enjoyed hanging around for a while.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    runwalksarah FIRST-TIMER '18

    The first thing to know is that although this race is called "Big Bear," at no point does it actually run IN Big Bear. The Full Marathon course starts on … MORE

    The first thing to know is that although this race is called “Big Bear,” at no point does it actually run IN Big Bear. The Full Marathon course starts on State Route 38, approximately 18 miles from Big Bear City limit. The Half Marathon course starts on Valley of the Falls Dr., approximately 33 miles from Big Bear City limit. The Half Marathon quickly joins the Full Marathon course on State Route 38. The course runs down the mountain and finishes in the city of Redlands, which is around 44 miles from Big Bear City limit.

    The expo was at Sylvan Park in Redlands from 10 am – 6:00 pm on Saturday. The race organizers can’t control the weather, but it was unfortunate that it was an outdoor expo on a rainy day. For an additional fee, you could have had your packet mailed to you or picked it up on race morning.

    If you aren’t looking for a “racecation” weekend in Big Bear, on race morning the most practical thing to do is to take the free shuttle from the base of the mountain in San Bernardino up the mountain to the race start. The Full Marathon bus boarding time was between 4:00 – 4:45 am and the Half Marathon bus boarding time was between 4:30 – 5:15 am. All of my friends who took advantage of this option had no difficulty getting to the race start. After the race, there were continuous shuttles transporting runners from the finish line the 8-ish miles back to their vehicles. A few of my friends reported getting lost trying to find their cars because the bus dropped them off in a different location from where it picked them up. This was also a problem at Mt. Hood earlier this year.

    For those wishing to stay in Big Bear, the race offered roundtrip transportation to/from Big Bear High School for $30. This turned out to be impractical and in need of massive improvement. Half Marathoners were told that our bus loading time was between 4:00 – 4:30 am. The Full Marathoners were told that their bus loading time was between 4:30 – 5:00 am. Our confirmation e-mail stressed not to be late. I like to arrive to races very early, therefore I was one of the first people on the 4:00 am bus. The buses then sat, and sat and sat some more. I overheard our driver asking for clarification on where he was supposed to take us. The buses FINALLY left for the race at 4:52 am!!!! As I was on the first bus, we were the lead bus. Our driver had to stop at the Full Marathon start line to ask for further clarification on where the Half Marathon starting line was located. They also double checked to make sure no Full Marathoners accidently got on the Half Marathon bus (probably a good idea). I got off the bus at the Half Marathon start at 6:00 am on the dot. Since the race started in only half an hour, I did not have adequate time to wait in the long portapotty lines and go through my full warm-up/stretching routine. There was limited cell service at the race start, so I didn’t bother trying to find my friends as I was so short on time.

    I was in a bad mood at this point. We weren’t allowed to line up until right before the race was scheduled to start because the road was still considered open at this point. The race started around 10 minutes late. There was no national anthem. We just simply started moving forward. I overheard someone say, “I guess we are starting.”

    The course was mostly as advertised — downhill and fast. It was significantly less scenic than the other Revel races I have run, Canyon City & Mt Hood. The best views were all in the first half of the Full Marathon. The course was rather boring once the Half Marathon joined the party. I was originally registered for the Full, but transferred to the Half due to ongoing foot injures. I believe I would have enjoyed the Full significantly more than I enjoyed the Half.

    The aid stations and volunteers were great. They provided runners with water and Poweraide. Two of the aid stations had Honeystingers, my favorite fuel.

    Upon crossing the finish line, runners were provided with bottles of water, bananas and towels soaked in ice water. As it was a cooler day, mylar blankets would have been much more practical than cold towels. Upon exiting the finisher’s chute, runners could use tear-off vouchers on their bib to receive a slice of Papa John’s pizza (cheese or pepperoni), a donut and Hangar 24 beer (bonus points for it being a local brewery, negative points for it being an IPA). There were a variety of photo backdrops for runners to take finisher photos. The website advertised that massages would be available, but I did not see this.

    I did not spend much time partaking in the finish line festivities as the bus returning to Big Bear High School only ran once an hour. I was prepared for this. I was not prepared for how long it would take to get back to Big Bear High School. As it was about 44 miles, I budgeted that it would take a little more than an hour. I did not factor in that the bus would be taking the race route back up the mountain. It ended up taking us two hours to get back to Big Bear. Several people on the bus missed their hotel check-out time because the bus ride back took longer than they anticipated. As we drew close to Big Bear, the bus driver asked passengers to use their phones to help navigate him back to Big Bear High School. He had absolutely no idea where he was going! He told us that it was dark in the morning and that is why he didn’t remember where to go.

    If I do this race again, I will likely not try to turn it into a weekend racecation in Big Bear. Unfortunately the poorly executed $30 transportation to/from Big Bear really soured the entire race experience for me. To add insult to injury, the lettering on my medal came out slightly warped.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    runwalksarah Oct 24, 2018 at 7:55am

    UPDATE -- I contacted REVEL regarding my complaint about the $30 bus transportation to/from Big Bear High School. They issued me a refund for the transportation. I am hoping this… MORE

    UPDATE -- I contacted REVEL regarding my complaint about the $30 bus transportation to/from Big Bear High School. They issued me a refund for the transportation. I am hoping this is a positive sign that they are committed to improving this service for their 2019 race. LESS

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